Sacrifice of the Mass?

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Can someone explain it to me in a way that my Protestant mind can understand it?


Jesus Christ’s Sacrifice not only pierced the veil between Heaven and Earth, but it also transcended time and space. Thus, in the celebration of the Eucharist, this Once-For-All Sacrifice which was offered almost two thousand years ago is made present to us in the here-and-now.

This is what we call “The Sacrifice of the Mass”: the Memorial which makes the Very Event present and in which the Fruits of Salvation are poured out to us.
The Sacrifice of the Mass is the pure offering spoken of by the Prophet Malachi: “For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place … is offered to my name … a pure offering” (Malachi 1:11).

It is the nature of worship to make sacrificial offerings to God in thanksgiving and for sins. Jesus made the sacrificial offering once for all time to God for our sins by his passion and death on the cross. The sacrifice of the Mass is our sacrificial offering to God in thanksgiving (=Eucharist).

The question then becomes: “What shall I render to the LORD for all his bounty to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation” (Psalm 116:12-13). The purest and most perfect offering we could possibly make to God the Father is his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: his now glorified body, his blood that was poured out for us, his soul and his divinity (Hebrews 12:24). And this is possible because Jesus gave the Apostles the power and authority to “do this” at the Last Supper whenever they and their ordained successors (our bishops and priests) repeat Jesus’ words of consecration: “This is my body…my blood” over bread and wine.

When we gather at Mass, we bring forward our imperfect gifts of bread and wine and through the power of the Holy Spirit and the words of Jesus spoken by the priest, they become (are transubstantiatied into) our risen Lord Jesus Christ himself but still retaining their former appearance as bread and wine as at the Last Supper. (There have been Eucharistic miracles where the bread and wine have actually transformed into flesh and blood but that’s another story). This most pure and perfect gift then is offered to God the Father in thanksgiving. After that, as with many Old Testament sacrificial offerings, the holy offering is then eaten by the priest and by us for whom the thanksgiving sacrifice is offered. In this way, we also fulfill Jesus’ command to eat his flesh and drink his blood found in John 6.

If you read 1 Cor 10:16-22 carefully, you should be able to see Paul contrasting three different sacrifices, that of the Jews, of pagans, and of the Christians:
Of Jews, “partaking of the altar [of God]” by eating Israel’s “sacrifices” [offered to God] (v. 18);
Of pagans, “partaking of the table of demons” by eating pagan’s “sacrifices offered to idols…demons” (v. 19-21);
Of Christians, “partaking of the table of the Lord” by eating the Christian sacrifice of broken “bread” and blessed “wine,” i.e., “the body of Christ” and “the blood of Christ,” offered “to God” (v. 16-17, 21)

This is at least my understanding. I hope it is correct and helpful.


I highly recommend Scott Hahn’s book The Lamb’s Supper. Scott Hahn is a gifted convert and his book goes along way in helping people understand the wonderful miracle that catholics witness in the sacrifice of the Mass.
Make sure to put the previous explanations all together. All give you pieces to the puzzle with a slightly different slant. I definitely can’t say it any better but I think it is important to reinforce that Catholics do NOT re-sacrifice Jesus. This is one of the lies people are taught about Catholics.

God Bless
Back in the days of black & white TV only, there used to be a program called “You Are There!” Each week the announcer would set the scene for a familiar historic event, ending with the words, “and now, You are There!.” And the show would go on to do a re-presentation of that historical event.

The Mass is similar, except that you really are there. As someone else mentioned, Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross pierces through space and time to make itself present at every Mass–the same sacrifice, not a new one. By this means, we all have access to the events of our salvation, no matter when or where we exist. We too, stand at the foot of the cross. We too, sit at the Lords table at the Last Supper.

Can someone explain it to me in a way that my Protestant mind can understand it?
The Mass may best be described by 1 Corinthians; Chapter 11; Verses 23 - 26 (especially verse 26):

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread,
and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
**For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. **

His death being the ultimate sacrifice.
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